The Department of Agriculture Thursday announced more than $243 million in grants to support specialty crops. The funding is available through two USDA programs, the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative grants program. USDA is investing $169.9 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops. Since 2006, USDA has invested more than $880 million through the program. USDA also announced an investment of nearly $74 million to 21 award recipients through its Specialty Crop Research Initiative grants program. The program investments address critical challenges facing conventional and organic food and agricultural production systems across the specialty crop industry. The program’s priority areas include improving crop characteristics, managing threats from pests and diseases, improving production efficiency, profitability, technological innovation, and mitigating food safety hazards.
USDA Announces Grants to Strengthen Specialty Crop Industry